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Waves in Our Life

Do you think waves affect your life positively or negatively? Do they affect your health?


Maria Gemma Rollan-Gallego

Maria Gemma Rollan-Gallego
Teacher, Schlagle High School

This Unit is designed for students to connect physics with health, environmental health, and other subjects while trying to get the standards for chemistry, using their knowledge to identify what could affect their health depending on the time of the year.

Main Objectives

  • Where to consult data related to their health;
  • Use the information to advocate to improve the community: e.g. lights in the street, noise in their environment, EM waves produced by public devices, etcetera;
  • To learn and familiarize themselves with where to find data, the procedure for requesting it, how to analyze the data, materials, how to research for the right information, so they can obtain results and connect them to health issues impacting them and their communities.


Unit Lesson Plan

Unit Overview

Lesson 1 Waves. Types and characteristics

Students need to learn what are waves and how they relate to their daily lives, learning about the types of waves and how they change direction, as well as basic wave properties such as wavelength, frequency, amplitude and speed.

Students will learn:

    1. What a wave is
    2. Different types of waves
    3. Characteristics of the waves
    4. How can we recognize each element of the wave and their relationships?

Lesson 1 Resources

  1. Projector
  2. Laptop
  3. Worksheet about waves
  4. Mini guided lesson about waves

Download Lesson 1 Plan

Lesson 2 Wave Equation

This lesson is designed to teach how speed, frequency and wavelength are linked. Students will find out how the speed of sound varies depending on what it is traveling through. They will also learn how to use the WAVE EQUATION.

Students will:

  1. Study intro with wave equation/ poster. Solve for a variable using the wave equation.
  2. Review according to the quiz.
  3. Study intro light prisms.

Lesson 2 Resources

  1. Paper for poster or cards
  2. Laptop
  3. Colored pencils
  4. Projector
  5. Worksheet
  6. Google classroom

Download Lesson 2 Plan

Lesson 3 Light Waves

In this introduction to light energy, students learn about reflection and refraction as they learn that light travels in wave form, through different activities and hands-on projects.

Students will:

  1. Explain that light is a form of energy and that it can be characterized as a wave.
  2. Explain that different colors of the spectrum represent light waves vibrating at different frequencies.
  3. Describe the reflection and refraction of light waves.

Lesson 3 Resources

  1. Computer
  2. Laptop
  3. Lab activity material

Download Lesson 3 Plan

Lesson 4 Sound Waves

This lesson is designed to introduced students to sound energy concepts and how engineers use sound energy, through hands-on activities and demonstrations.

Students will learn how to:

  1. Give several examples of engineering products that involve sound.
  2. Describe sound as a form of energy.
  3. Define volume, pitch and frequency as they relate to sound energy.
  4. Describe sound energy as traveling in waves.
  5. Explain sound as a form of communication.

Lesson 4 Resources

  1. Laptop
  2. Music classroom collaboration with other teachers in school.
  3. Materials brought by students to class to complete investigations and activities, which will be defined in each case.

Download Lesson 4 Plan

Lesson 5 Design and present your investigation

This lesson is designed for students to compile all the data they have been collecting from the other units and contrast and compare both with the official data from organizations, departments and the other groups, in order to reach their own conclusions.

Students will learn to:

  1. Create a graph with the data during the period measured.
  2. Elaborate the presentation with a poster reflecting analysis and solutions if needed
  3. Be able to explain why you are concerned about waves and its effects on the health of your school, community.

Lesson 5 Resources

  1. Laptop
  2. Projector
  3. Audience

Download Lesson 5 Plan


University of Kansas Medical Center
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Kansas City, KS 66160